June signals the start of Pride Month — a time to recognize and celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community and their progress toward equality. This month and all year long, global talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half uplifts voices, honors history and culture, and supports the rights of LGBTQIA+ employees with BELONG, its Employee Network Group (ENG).
Robert Half and BELONG will follow a weekly theme for the month, LIVE: Learn, Inform, Vocalize, Engage. Some of the activities include:
Raising awareness of and deepening our strategic partnership with Out & Equal, a nonprofit organization focused on LGBTQIA+ workplace equality
Sponsoring Lesbians Who Tech & Allies, the largest LGBTQIA+ technology community in the world, and attending the organization’s 2022 Pride Summit
Organizing a fundraiser in support of Rainbow Railroad, a global non-profit organization which helps LGBTQIA+ people escape violence.
Co-hosting a panel event focused on LGBTQIA+ youth with Protiviti, a Robert Half subsidiary and global consulting firm, and It Gets Better, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to uplift, empower and connect LGBTQIA+ youth around the globe
“Pride is a chance to reflect on how far the LGBTQIA+ community has come and celebrate the freedoms and liberties we’ve gained since the Stonewall riots first incited action and change,” says Mathieu Ulmschneider, vice president, Strategic Accounts, and BELONG founder. He adds, “Though some success has been achieved, Pride elevates awareness of the work that is to be done and invites allies to continue to help in the pursuit of LGBTQIA+ rights.”
Ulmschneider, and Robert Half employees Roy Cook, Kari Paulsey and Ellejay Schliebe, founded BELONG to create a safe and inclusive environment for members to feel invited to bring their whole selves to work. The mission of BELONG is for LGBTQIA+ employees and allies to come together by creating networks, community and growth opportunities that encourage all employees to embrace our differences and achieve a greater understanding of how to treat people with respect and kindness.
BELONG member Kayla Crowley says, “So far within my career journey, I have yet to come across an organization like Robert Half that encourages and allows a safe space for our community to come together. Connecting with and listening to stories of LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies is an important part in gaining insight, focusing on our humanity, and creating balance with personal and professional struggles and opportunities.”
Fellow BELONG member Christina Garcia says, “There is an air of unity and pride in BELONG that is unbelievable. Robert Half and BELONG dig deep by truly supporting each other with warm and welcome open arms. We share our truths, struggles, achievements and honor all experiences of those who are present.”
She adds, “Robert Half allows everyone to be seen, heard and represented while sharing stories and intentionally connecting with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise within the company. For a community that has notoriously been muted and quiet, it is important for people to live their best lives out loud and to have support and feel included.”
“BELONG continues to pave the wave for LGBTQIA+ inclusion at our company, within our industry and among the communities we serve,” says Nikole Castro, vice president, Experience Design and executive champion of BELONG. “Robert Half is a ‘people company.’ And you can see the leaders and teams pushing the boundaries on acceptance, as we have since our inception when our founder, Bob Half, spoke out against discriminatory recruiting and staffing practices in the 1960s.”
She continues, “With support from our company’s leaders, BELONG has helped expand self-identification reporting by incorporating pronouns, sexual orientation and gender identity, raised funds for It Gets Better, provided employee education around inclusive language, and worked together with large companies on allyship. BELONG holds monthly meetings to share stories, provide mentoring and support, and will be celebrating Pride throughout the month of June.”
Celebrating Pride in June — and all year long
Here are some ways you can participate in celebrating Pride:
- Find a Pride parade in your area
- Read up on Pride and the LGBTQIA+ rights movement
- Change your Zoom or Teams background
- Add your pronouns in your Zoom or Teams and email accounts
- Update company social media pictures with Pride frames
- Look for matching gifts opportunities, if your company offers them, and donate to an LGBTQIA+ cause or organization
- Encourage employees to share stories, photos and artwork
- Host a panel event or Q&A with an LGBTQIA+ speaker